Controversy on human rights and military continues

During the joint news conference ending the North American Leaders Summit, President Calderón defended the “scrupulous efforts” of the military to protect human rights in its operations against drug traffickers, and challenged critics to come up with “just one case where human rights have been violated and the competent authorities have not responded.”  José Miguel Vivanco, the director of Human Rights Watch for the Americas immediately shot back that Mexico’s own human rights commission had received 1,230 allegations of human rights violations during 2008, triple the prior year level, and said, “The Calderón administration ought to focus on the problem and not continue to defend defective military and judicial systems that perpetuate these actions.” It was noted that of the 12 cases cited by the government for prosecution of military crimes against civilians, eight dated to the Salinas and Zedillo governments. (Reforma 8/10, 8/10)

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